Swatch and Review – Beauty, skincare and lifestyle reviews
A makeup-loving, lipstick-obsessed Canadian who can't stop writing. I'm a copywriter by day and this is what I do for fun. I'm also a founding member of the Canadian Beauty Bloggers group at beautybloggers.ca.
Bite Beauty, my obsession. If you’ve followed me on social or visited the blog before, you’ve seen at least a few (dozen) posts about this brand. And one of the products I keep recommending over and over again is the Agave Lip Mask.
I was lucky enough to receive all five different types of this mask to review, as well as the Agave Lip Scrub and Balm Stick (which I have reviewed previously). You can imagine how excited I was when I got this surprise PR package at my desk. Wooohooo!
These intensely moisturizing, thick balms are handcrafted in Toronto with agave nectar and jojoba oil. But unlike most lip balms, these aren’t super sticky, they’re more slick and almost goopy. I find after wearing an Agave Lip Mask all day my lips are kissable and soft.
The available shades/flavours are:
Champagne – rose gold pearl finish
Maple – sheer bronze with a maple scent (now available in the US)
Smashed – sheer candy apple red finish
Lavender – pale pink, smells like lavender
Natural – clear, the OG of lip masks
Each lip mask is $30 CAD and will last you forever. I mean you only need a tiny bit to cover your lips and there’s a lot of product in here.
Well time sure has gotten away from me… and if it’s gotten away from you to here’s a reminder: MOTHER’S DAY IS THIS WEEKEND! Yes, that’s right. Time to spoil the most important woman in your life. And as usual, LUSH has released some amazing themed goodies just for Mom.
Among some of the usual suspects like bath bombs and bubble bars, I fell in love with the beautifully decorated, ornamental bar soaps*. How pretty are these?!
PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE SOAP
Better than a bouquet of flowers, this cocoa butter and coconut oil based soap smells like lavender, hibiscus and violet. It’s not overpowering and leaves a moisturizing feel behind.
A dozen roses or… a dozen (and more) beautiful baths. Cocoa butter, coconut oil and olive oil give this soap an ultra-hydrating formula, and it smells like the much-loved Rose Jam scent (only with a hit of ylang ylang to balance it out). Think calm thoughts…
LEMON ZEST SOAP
The same cocoa butter and coconut oil base we all love with a bit more hydration in the form of murumuru butter. This has pure myrtle lemon oil and lemon zest mixed in to give it a fresh, clean and tangy scent. Refreshing and uplifting!
CHAMOMILE LAWN SOAP
German chamomile and lavender give this a relaxing and soothing scent with the added benefit of calming ingredients for even the most sensitive skin. Mixed with the usual cocoa butter and coconut oil is a kick of neroli oil to add moisture (and peace).
My gift suggestion for mom? A basket of LUSH goodies! These soaps are a good start. Hit up your local LUSH store to see all the other pretties they have to offer for Mother’s Day.
When the new Benefit BADgal BANG! mascara* press package arrived on my desk, I was floored. Why? Because it came housed in a light up rocketship backpack (which was immediately co-opted by a co-worker for her daughter). But I digress, cool PR package aside, this release is totally cute with its “out of this world” claims and fun marketing.
*Yes, yes this was sent to me by PR and I’m using an affiliate link, but trust me when I say you are about to get the most unfiltered review.
So what are some of these “out of this world” claims? Well let’s explore:
– 36-hour, full-blast, volumizing mascara (who wears their mascara for 36 hours though?)
– gravity-defying formula that builds volume (sorry, I can’t test this in zero gravity but I wish I could!)
– contains aero-particles, a very lightweight material derived from space technology (what now???)
– smudge-proof, water-resistant (finally some things I can test and understand)
Am I being harsh? Maybe, but if you know anything about me, you know I write ads for a living, so claims like this probably aren’t going to sway me…. performance and good reviews sway me.
These are my basic, non-existent lashes without mascara. Bleeeeech.
This is one (fairly thick) coat of BADgal BANG! mascara. The formula is quite volumizing and the pigment is intensely black. I like that part. The brush, aka the “custom big slimpact! brush”, is made from silicone (I think) and does really catch and coat every lash.
What I don’t like is that it actually weighed down my lashes a bit, despite the “lightweight” claim. But honestly, I prefer length over volume when it comes to lashes.
So although this isn’t my all-time favourite mascara (I really do love the original BADgal mascara), this blackest, black pigment looks pretty fab against my neutral eye look, which is ABH Soft Glam by the way.
As far as the smudgeproof claims? Yep, this didn’t smudge or flake at all. I’m also fairly certain it’s water resistant since I watched an emotional video about a dog rescue that morning and cried a lil bit at my desk and my mascara stayed put.
So the verdict is… if you want a deep black mascara that provides a lot of volume, I would suggest this. Maybe curl your lashes first though (I didn’t and never really do).
Grab the new BADgal BANG! mascara at Sephora for $32 CAD
(This is an affiliate link, do what you will.)
“PATRICK STARRR is back to make your beauty dreams blossom with his new floral-inspired M∙A∙C full face kits. This collection is all you need for fresh-picked, vibrant springtime looks.”
ME SO FLEEK KIT – $63 CAD, $49.50 USD
PLAY WITH ME eyeshadow quad – In Living Pink (pinky coral with gold shimmer, frost); Hickie (bright pink with shimmer, frost), All’s Rosy (dirty mid-tone pink, matte); In the Shadows (vibrant dark blue with shimmer (Frost)
HEY, BOY, HEY! lipstick -Dirty pinkish plum (Retro Matte)
QUEEN P lipglass – Neon pink with blue pearl
TAKE ME HOME blush duo – Soft coral pink, satin / muted pink plum, matte
ME SO CHIC KIT – $63 CAD, $49.50 USD
STAY WITH ME eyeshadow quad – Daddystarrrr (muted baby pink with pearl, matte); Yesss (mid-tone dusty violet, veluxe pearl); Queen Patrick (bright purple, frost); Bon Nuit (black purple, matte)
SWEET MAMASTARRR lipstick – Mid-tone neutral pink (Amplified)
MAMASTARRR KISS lipglass – Sheer nude with pearl
I’M NOT BLUSHING blush duo – Pure peach, satin / capri bronze, matte
MY SHOPPING LIST:
I actually think I want/need both kits! The shadows from each look vibrant and bold, and I love that MAC has created two complete looks full face looks here.
If you haven’t heard of Juvia’s Place yet, you’re in for a treat. My first experience with the brand was a year ago at IMATS NYC, and since then my collection has grown quite a bit. The Saharan II eyeshadow palette (only $21.50 USD!) is my latest purchase from the brand, so I thought I’d share not one, not two but three looks I’ve created with this palette.
“The Saharan II palette is inspired by the rich colors in Moroccan spices, herbs, cities and rich patterns.”
The palette itself has a beautiful variety of shades and finishes, which is how I was able to create three complete looks.
Marrakesh – peachy rose shimmer
Aziza – ivory shimmer
Hadiya – bronze shimmer
Berber – teal/ocean blue metallic
Nomad – burgundy metallic
Chefchaouen – ice blue metallic
Fez – deep warm brown matte
Zohra – oxblood matte
Taza – burnt orange matte
Using Taza in the crease, I created a vibrant orange matte look. Aziza is the browbone shade for all of these looks.
I then patted on Marrakesh and Nomad on the lid for a pop of shimmer.
I was a bit nervous about the Taza orange matte, but with a light hand I was able to buff it out so it wasn’t too overwhelming. All these shades were gorgeous and highly pigmented.
Now I don’t typically wear blue, and I’m fairly impressed with how this look using Berber and Chefchaouen turned out.
I really didn’t need to do much to blend these out, which is surprising for a heavy metallic shimmer. I unfortunately don’t have a face photo of this one.
This look is one of my faves! I used Marrakesh on the lid again because it’s so gorgeous. I used Fez, the brown matte, with a very, very light hand and blended it out into the crease.
And that burgundy liner is Zohra applied dry!
I love how versatile these shades are, you can pack them on and create bold, vibrant shades or apply lightly and blend out for something a little softer. And having tried all 9 shades several times now, I can say with confidence they are all amazing!
With Bite Beauty’s 10 new shades of their Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick, called the Unearthed Collection, I was definitely tempted to get the whole set… but I settled for four instead. If you’ve never tried the formula, it’s a hybrid lipstick and gloss that’s packed full of coconut oil and monoi butter to keep leaves soft and smooth.
Here we have Lotus Root, Sugar Beet, Arrowroot, Cassava. All swatched 1x to show the amazing pigmentation.
Lotus Root is described as a muted cool medium-pink. This shade is limited edition (not all in the collection are). Typically with lighter shades, it tends to look patchy or uneven, but this turned out perfectly.
I’m actually very happy with how this looks on my skintone. I thought it would be much lighter.
Sugar Beet is described as a muted violet. This is another limited edition shade, a bit outside my comfort zone but still looks great. This took a couple swipes to even out though.
Paired with a subtle cool-toned eye, I think this really reduces the look of redness in my face.
Arrowroot is described as an earthy pumpkin and is probably my fave of the bunch. This went on perfectly and I was even able to get a crisp, clean lip line.
This is such a unique colour, and definitely not the typical shade for me. It’s a hint of brown, a toned down orange, almost leaning towards rust? I love it!
Now Cassava, a muted cool berry-red, was a bit of a let down. This went on fairly patchy and collected a bit around the edges.
Happy birthday, Pisces babies! The Astrology by Bite Pisces Edition* may have already sold out, but I have some good news for you… Bite will begin producing these monthly shades in larger quantities and selling them all on BiteBeauty.com! Yes!!!
Like the Aquarius shade last month, Pisces has unique packaging. Aside from the beautiful holographic Astrology symbols on the box, this also has a sticker on top denoting the shade inside.
And the tube, similar to existing permanent line Amuse Bouche lipsticks, has a Pisces symbol etched on the metal.
Pisces is described as a muted peach. At first I thought it may lean too yellow for my skintone but it’s actually pretty balanced out.
And like all Amuse Bouche lipsticks, the formula is on point. This is creamy, highly pigmented and extremely luxe containing 12 edible oils and pigments that are triple milled.
It took just a few seconds to swipe on and get even coverage. Seriously impressed every time I use an Amuse Bouche lipstick.
As you can see, yes this peach works on cool-toned fair skin folks. Although released in February, this would actually be a great transitional Spring shade. Sadly this shade is sold out, but you never know if it will come back in stock on Sephora!
There’s a new palette in my daily rotation, and it’s Maybelline’s The Burgundy Bar shadow palette* ($13 CAD). It takes a lot for a makeup to find its way into my day-to-day, but this drugstore gem has all the shades I love and, damn, is it ever affordable.
The Burgundy Bar has 12 shades, most of which are shimmer. These all work really well together to create warm burgundy and bronze looks.
Shades in the top row lean a bit more neutral/bronze. This row also contains the ivory browbone shade and matte taupe transition.
The bottom row is a bit more up my alley with a couple burgundy shades and that deep brown matte to define the crease and outer V.
This first look is my “day” look using more of the neutral shades.
I used a variety of the bronze and warm brown shimmers to create this soft shimmery gradient. These were easy to blend and lasted all day over primer. A few of the shades looked mostly the same when blended together on the eye though (some of the mid-tone bronzes).
Bronzey eye, bronzed skin!
The next look I did was for a Saturday night out. I focused more on the burgundy and gold shades with a hit of the matte deep brown for drama.
I love how this one turned out!
Now my only complaint with The Burgundy Bar is that there are only three mattes: the ivory (which has a bit of shimmer), taupe and dark brown. To make this more versatile, I would have removed a couple of the bronze/taupe shimmers and had more mid-tone or deep mattes.
“A multidimensional glitter highlighter that imparts a high impact, light-reflective finish.”
Lunar is described as a multi-colored pastel glitter. It’s sort of like the glittery twin of the Custom Enhancer Drops in Halo.
I literally could not resist when I swatched this in Sephora. Sure, this isn’t really practical and how often will I be covering myself in light blue wet glitter… but it’s just so pretty.
In sunlight this reflect blue and silver. It isn’t too too deep on fair skin although I think my tone, NW15, is probably the fairest you could go with these. You can see a bit of a deeper grainy texture in the shadows of this photo.
Look at this beautiful multi-dimensional reflect though. Wwwooooowww! I wore this on my cheekbones and ALL OVER my chest last time I went to a club and the look was mindblowing.
Here I’m wearing it on my cheekbones and I feel like a glittery glazed donut and I love it. The trick with these is too dab and tap it on your cheekbones then blend out lightly with a sponge. It WILL move your foundation around a bit.
Lips are Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink in 80 Ruler
You can see the inspiration for Dior’s Glow Addict Spring 2018* release in the tulle dress details and gorgeous, feminine pink shades. These details are a nod to Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first collection with the house, and damn is it gorgeous!
These swatched beautiful, with a slight shimmer and sheen to each shade. The dark grey is quite sheer, almost a wash of colour, which is perfect for how I used it.
Now I don’t typically wear light pink shadow, and honestly, a lot of shadow palettes with pressed details tend to underperform for me, but these shadows are lovely.
I was able to create a beautiful soft pink and mauve gradient look with this palette. The lightest shade used from lid to browbone, the pink in the crease, mauve to deepen that crease and, of course, the dark grey to define the outer V.
See what I mean? Perfect, feminine, soft and magical.
Like, you’ve either caught me on a really good day or… this palette is the bomb.
So if you’re looking for a high-end pastel palette for Spring, this Dior 5 Couleurs palette is it. The price is a wee bit steep, $73 CAD, but why not treat yo’self?
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